In a piece of irony, the CDC originated from a 1940s agency called the “Office of Malaria Control in War Areas”, and during the summit’s opening session, organizers showed a 70-year-old short movie about its work targeting Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that now spreads Zika. “We were the first ones because we were really proactive in getting the virus and really pursuing and working hard to get the structure”, said Richard Kuhn, head and professor of biological sciences as well as the director of the Purdue Institute for Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease.
Zika is a mosquito-borne illness now plaguing South America, with pregnant women and their babies being the most vulnerable to the virus. But officials warned the 300 people attending the summit – along with an estimated 2,000 more who took part online – to prepare for possible local clusters of Zika disease, once the warmer weather arrives and the mosquito season starts. DCHHS advises individuals with symptoms to see a healthcare provider if they visited an area where Zika virus is present or had sexual contact with a person who traveled to an area where Zika virus is present.
Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
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